While Samsung is still the unrivaled heavyweight champion of global Android smartphone shipments, recent history suggested we look elsewhere for blazing fast major software updates.

Namely, Sony, LG and HTC were widely expected to engage in a fierce battle for the honor to release the world’s first Oreo-powered device out the box, as well as deliver the first Android 8.0 promotions over-the-air to older, Nougat-running handsets.

Sony impressively managed to win both wars, obviously not counting public beta programs and tests, but HTC came pretty close with the launch of the U11+ and U11 Life, as well as an official start for the original U11’s Oreo makeover today.

That’s right, the 5.5-inch squeezable flagship with an eye-catching liquid glass surface and Snapdragon 835 processor is now even faster and smoother, at least over in the OEM’s homeland of Taiwan.

HTC vaguely, then cautiously promised this would happen sometime in Q4, with the older U Ultra and 10 not far behind. We’re still a month and a half away from the end of the year, of course, which should be plenty of time to spread the love for (unlocked) international variants of the HTC U11. And we wouldn’t rule out a regional rollout commencement for the U Ultra by December 31 as well.

Lucky early Oreo adopters with the U11 are reporting the OTA package tips the scales at a massive 1.33GB, no doubt including a number of stock OS enhancements, plus some proprietary Sense UI revisions. Also, the latest security patches from Google, dated November 1. Welcome to the 0.3 percent club. Or is it 0.4 percent now?

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